[Dumfries]: printed for the author, [circa 1760].
Small octavos in 4s (15 x 9 cm.), 186 pages. FIRST EDITION, though priority not firmly established. MacLean states “another ed. Edinburgh: printed for E. Wilson at Dumfries, [c.1760]” (though that edition is dated, “M.DCC.LX” at the foot of the title page); the Wilson issue has 136 pages. Cagle refers to the Wilson issue as “Second Edition”. Both editions display the misspelled author’s surname, as “Thomas Houldston” is almost certainly Thomas Huddleston. MacLean quotes William McDowall’, ‘Education in other useful occupations was also promoted by the [Dumfries Town] Council. On the 24th of December, 1753, Thomas Huddleston, cook and confectioner, was admitted a freeman and burgess [of Dumfries] on condition that he should teach three poor girls "the arts of cookery and confectionery or paistry [sic]" (History of Dumfries (Edinburgh, 1867), page 598). Dumfries, in the south of Scotland, is best known as the home of Robert Burns for the second half of his life. This is a small book with large pretentions as the author claims it “the most intelligible and useful book of its kind that has ever been printed” (Preface, page ). Huddleston begins, appropriately, with mutton, To Make a Shoulder of Mutton like Venison, and ends with a “rare cosmetic", Virginal Milk, used to remove freckles. In between, recipes include: To Fry a Dish of Lamb-stones and Sweetbreads; To Make Bolgnia Puddings, as they Make Them in Italy which are Better than Those of Bolognia; My Lady H—‘s Way to Make a Caraway Cake; To Stew Pippins; To Pickle Conger Eel; a Sallet of Cold Capons; and To Make a Galimaufry of Mutton. There is much evidence of French influence, including: Excellent Pies of Red Deer made by S C---D---‘s French Cook; To Make a French Pudding called a Pomercy Pudding; To Make French Toast; To Make French Bread; and, To Make Fritters… To Dress an Eel with Ragout… Veal…all The French Way. More French influence within the recipe ingredients: “crusts of light French Bread”. There is one major section break – a ruled section title, “To make Variety of Pies, Pastlies [sic], Tarts…” appears at page 138, e.g. – recipes within the larger sections appear to be organized in no particular order, indeed a bit chaotic. My Lady H—‘s Way to Make a Caraway Cake appears twice. This cataloguer is left with the impression that the recipes were set directly from a manuscript book compiled over time, in the order received, and not from an edited, ordered compilation. This could also help to explain the misspelling of the author’s name in both editions. Not an example of skilled printing, with some pages printed lightly, and others with text showing through; final page shows offset ghost of the title page. Tiny bit of edgewear and age-toning to the text. In full speckled sheep, panels blind-ruled; rebacked and with original untitled spine laid-down. Early ink ownership of “Margaret McMurdo”, and an early 20th century printed of “D.A. McM. Spence,” [Margaret McMurdo (1765-1843) was daughter of George McMurdo of Dumfries; Douglas Archibald McMurdo Spence (1890-1952)]. The McMurdo Spence family were residents of Shetland. Rare. [ESTC T200990; OCLC locates one copy of this issue (National Library of Scotland), and four copies of the Wilson imprint (Indiana; BL 3 copies); Cagle 756 (for the Wilson imprint); Maclean, page 71 (stating BL copy destroyed; not in Bitting or Oxford].